Evaluating Risk: 1

Many blogs spend an inordinate amount of time talking about risk, manliness, testosterone etc. I believe that most of such talk is worthless bullshit.

There is a fairly straightforward and objective way to assess risks for any given situation. So let me begin-

1. You simply cannot incorporate all low-frequency and high impact (black swan) events in any model of risk assessment.

Don’t waste you time worrying about such events- it is not worth it. The chance of being hit by lightning on a golf course is far less than being killed driving to, and from, a golf course.

2. Understand the true nature and occurrence of any given risk.

You are far more likely to drown while surfing than be attacked by a shark. Heck you are more likely to be die from food-poisoning acquired at a beach barbecue than be attacked by a shark. More people died from the 1918-1919 influenza epidemic than in ww1. Hunger, cold, heat, infectious diseases and infected wounds killed more soldiers until ww2 than any man-made weapon.

3. The odds for so-called ‘risky behavior’ changes over time and conditions.

Flirting with women in a large westernized city with over a million people is much less risky than doing so in a small town with 5,000-odd people. Unwanted pregnancy and STDs are much less of a threat than they were even 50 years ago. Hiking in the 10th century was far riskier (way more wild animals and outlaws) than it is today.

4. Though every action can have an extreme outcome (either way)- it is the median outcomes which should concern you.

There are people who have survived falls of more than 50 feet and there are people who have died after slipping in their bathtub- however there is a pattern. A very small percentage of people who fell over 50 feet on hard ground have survived, but most people who have slipped in their bathtub have escaped with minor and non-life threatening injuries.

5. Understand the median worst-case scenario (median loss) and median best-case scenario (median gain).

Following from the previous point- it is the median scenarios that are most likely and it is therefore useful to evaluate your willingness to accept the median loss and median gain. Getting contact info from a girl has a low rate of success (fucking her), but hardly any downside (unless you start talking her). Therefore even a situation with otherwise poor odds of success is acceptable if the median loss is very small or almost nonexistent. On the other hand, a marriage has a very high chance of failure or unhappiness and carries a massive penalty for failure- if you are a guy and should be hence avoided.

6. Do not use old information, however accurate, to model the future without factoring system changes since that era.

Once engineering was a good career choice with good pay, excellent job stability and social respectability. Today.. it is only a pale shadow of its former self. The same can be said about law school, chemistry and even medicine. Once society did not look up to smooth-talking sociopaths as emulation worthy models. Today the vast majority of people look up to, imitate and worship such people.

I will try to write more about this issue in an upcoming post.

Comments?

  1. blackdude
    June 15, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    “Once society did not look up to smooth-talking sociopaths as emulation worthy models. Today the vast majority of people look up to, imitate and worship such people.”

    aaaaaaaand THIS is why im leaving america…..

    • June 15, 2011 at 5:06 pm

      You will be disappointed. The rest of the world is not better.

      • blackdude
        June 15, 2011 at 7:52 pm

        yeah ur probably rite, but it would be impossible for shit to be worse than where I am now…..

  2. June 15, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    It is interesting that you talk about sociopath’s so often….

    It is also interesting, since I mentioned this at Nestorius’s blog that sociopath’s can be seen as charismatic, glib and often have many sex partners. Maybe an effective goal for PUA’s would be to emulate sociopathy/narcissism.

    Anyways, Mr. Crapacoli…

    ….Discuss….

  1. June 19, 2011 at 1:18 am

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